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630,000 evacuated from S. China as Typhoon Chanchu
Latest Updated by 2006-05-18 08:57:50
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People's safety stressed as typhoon "Chanchu" approaches

More than 630,000 people have been evacuated from China's southern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian as Typhoon Chanchu is expected slam the coastline on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning (May 18).

In Guangdong nearly 327,000 residents have been moved from the coast and more than 51,000 ships have returned to harbour.

In Fujian more than 307,000 people have been evacuated from coastal areas and 42,000 ships were recalled to seek safe harbor.

In Xiamen of Fujian, 26 flights have been cancelled, most of which were heading for other coastal cities and Hong Kong. Passenger ferry services to Jinmen have been suspended until Thursday.

The Xiamen Tourism Bureau has ordered all tourist sites to close from Wednesday to Friday.

China Eastern Airlines, headquartered in Shanghai, on Wednesday cancelled 38 flights heading for Hong Kong and Shenzhen, a coastal city in Guangdong.

Chanchu, which is packing winds of around 144 kilometers an hour, has already brought gale-force winds to Fujian's southern coastal areas and heavy rainstorms in the west. Many localities have reported landslides and flooding, according to the Fujian meteorological bureau.

Rainstorms also hit the city of Shantou, one of the sites along the southern coastline that the typhoon may hit, and a number of other localities in Guangdong with the rainfall ranging between 20mm to 210 mm.

After lashing Hong Kong on Wednesday, the typhoon, which is packing the strongest winds in the South China Sea in May, continues to move northeastward at around 20 kilometers per hour.

It is expected to hit the mainland along the coastal areas between Guangdong and Fujian Wednesday night or Thursday morning, according to the Fujian Provincial Meteorological Bureau.

The typhoon forced Hong Kong to suspend air, sea and land travel.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority said that 52 incoming and outgoing flights have been canceled and eight were delayed. Most of them were on route to Chinese mainland cities.

Chanchu, which means "pearl", formed in the Pacific, about 550 km east of Mindanao island in the Philippines on May 9. It hit central Philippines on Saturday, killing at least 32 people and leaving more than 1,000 others homeless.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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